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Town Insider - Bristol Rovers

21 September 2012

Having met a side on top form and full of confidence in Port Vale on Tuesday, Fleetwood Town travel down the M5 to take on Bristol Rovers who are currently experiencing quite the opposite situation.

By David Mitchell

Having met a side on top form and full of confidence in Port Vale on Tuesday, Fleetwood Town travel down the M5 to take on Bristol Rovers who are currently experiencing quite the opposite situation.

The Pirates lie second bottom in the npower League 2 without a league win this season. “We know certain things must be done right in games and there is a thin line between success and failure. It’s all about making sure you do the basics right on the day. That needs to be done for the full 90 minutes. We didn’t do that on Tuesday and were clearly punished. The league table does not lie and Port Vale sit in second position. Saying that, and individual errors on our part aside, I don’t think there is too much space between the two teams.” Fleetwood saw the woodwork shaved twice and goalscorer Junior Brown was denied a second when one-on-one towards the end. “It’s not proper to make light of a heavy defeat but I won’t allow my players to grow despondent and think they were hugely outplayed or passed off the pitch. We are now concentrating on putting our performance right both as a group and as individuals. This will give us more of chance at winning games at this level. “Using the time in between games in a positive manner allows Tuesday to be put behind us and we will continue to build on our fantastic team spirit. We will be well prepared for what will be a tough game at Bristol Rovers. “They are a lot more experienced than us in this league and we won’t get carried away league positions.” After nine games unbeaten at the Memorial Ground at the end of last season, Rovers have just one point from three home games so far. With a goal total of just four in all league games, their cause has not been helped by a knee injury for last season's top scorer, Matt Harrold, in the Gillingham game last weekend. Manager, Mark McGhee, has pointed to a lack of experience and aggression in his squad: 'We need to find a combination now that will go and get us some results. There is an opportunity for people to grab a place.' McGhee has not ruled out bringing in some loan players to help the youngsters out but will be hoping for a response from his players similar to that in the second half of the 1-1 draw at Plymouth on Tuesday evening, as he explained to BBC Bristol: 'None of them were dying for a break at half time - they weren't exhausted. I demanded they upped the tempo in the second half. They did and thoroughly deserved at least a draw.' The Scot was appointed in January 2012 to replace the sacked Paul Buckle. Rovers had been relegated from League One at the end of the 2010-11 season and to illustrate the problems within the club McGhee became the sixth manager in twelve months, including caretakers. Rovers have an unbroken league record stretching back to 1920. They peaked at sixth in the second tier on two occasions in the 1950s but came perilously close to losing their league place a decade ago when they occupied their current position, avoiding relegation to the Conference by the narrowest of margins. The game marks the first of two against the sides propping up the League 2 table with bottom side, Barnet, due to visit Highbury next weekend.

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